20 Oct (NucNet): Close cooperation in the European nuclear sector could help the industry overcome many challenges, improve its competitiveness and maintain the share of nuclear energy in the European energy mix, Yves Desbazeille, director-general of European nuclear trade association Foratom, said yesterday at a conference in Brussels. He told the conference, organised by French think-tank ASCPE (Les Entretiens Européens et Eurafricains), that energy markets are distorted and fail to deliver the signals needed to ensure that Europe’s climate objectives and long-term security of supply are met – a crucial issue for the future of nuclear new-build or long-term operation of existing plants. According to Mr Desbazeille, a lot has to be done at European Union level and by EU institutions which are responsible for reforming the market. But he said the nuclear industry should also step up its efforts to improve its position on the market. Mr Desbazeille said the nuclear industry needs to finds ways to work more efficiently and in a more integrated and collaborative manner throughout the whole industry lifecycle, encompassing new-build, long-term operation, decommissioning, waste management, R&D and training. He said nuclear power generates about 27% of the EU’s electricity and constitutes nearly half of the bloc’s carbon free generation, making nuclear one of the “cornerstones” of the energy transition.